Consultation on Council Tax changes for empty and unused properties continues until Friday 27th October
16 October 2023 5min read
Sefton Council's consultation on rule changes that would affect properties that are empty or unused continues until Friday 27th October.
Empty and unused homes
The Government is bringing in new rules that would enable Sefton Council to make an extra Council Tax charge for properties that no one has lived in for one year and properties that are furnished but only lived in sometimes.
Under the rules, councils would be able to make a100% premium Council Tax charge on top of the normal charge for Council Tax on properties that have been left empty for a year.
Councils would also be able to add a 100% premium charge for Council Tax for properties that are only lived in sometimes.
Rule changes for empty properties would be introduced from April 2024 and those for properties that are only lived in sometimes will happen a year later, in April 2025.
Closes Friday 27th October
The consultation, for people in Sefton to share their views on the Government’s proposals, now closes on Friday 27th October.
You can do this online by using this link to the Council’s YourSeftonYourSay website.
Or you can download the form and send it back to the Council by post to Council Tax Survey, PO Box 2, Bootle, L20 3US.
People can also email Counciltax.Consultation@sefton.gov.uk.
Completed versions of the downloaded form can also behanded in at the One Stop Shops in Bootle and Southport.
Anyone who need help to complete the survey, can call the Council’s Contact Centre on 0345 140 0845.
The results of this consultation will be reported to the Council Members at a cabinet meeting in January 2024.
At the moment, Sefton Council charges an extra 100% Council Tax if a property has been left empty and unfurnished for two years. This would change to one year from the April 2024 under the new rules.
From April 2025 the Council also plans to start charging an extra100% for properties that are empty but furnished after one year.
Increased revenues to pay for vital services
When the consultation was launched, Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council's Cabinet Member for Regulatory Compliance and Corporate Services said: “At a time when we need to increase the number of affordable homes in Seton available for people to rent or buy, there are approaching 2,000 homes in the Borough that are not being used.
“By introducing these premium Council Tax charges, Sefton Council wants to encourage their owners to bring them back into use, while at the same time generating increased Council Tax revenues to pay for vital services.”
Empty and unfurnished for a year or more
There are almost 1,400 homes in Sefton that have been empty and unfurnished for a year or more and over 500 that are furnished but are not lived in.
These figures do not include properties exempt from paying Council Tax, for reasons such as the owner is being cared for somewhere else or is providing care elsewhere or they are in the armed forces.
Sefton Council always tries to work with owners to bring properties back into use. Owners of long-term empty properties can also seek advice for dealing with them from the Council's Housing Standards Team by e-mailing email@example.com.
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